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Attending Conferences Purposefully with your Business Cards - Michelle's Thoughts

Finally, I am getting around to the follow up post I promised in my last post (Conference Attendance with Purpose). I got a bit distracted by being at the conference and in the thick of things that blogging got somewhat neglected. Luckily, my more focused business partner, Ben, picked up the slack. He posted 5 times during the conference based on some sage advice he'd read somewhere...!!

The other reason for my reticence about picking up on where I left off last time ("how I manage all my conference "luggage", and especially, where to stash my business cards so they can be quickly and easily whipped out at a moments notice."), is that I didn't do so well with whipping out my business cards. Although, on the whole, I was successful in keeping the conference "luggage" to a minimum most of the time. At least, I didn't suffer from the sore shoulder and aching back of previous conferences this time.

For 4 out for the 5 conference days, I had my cards in my jacket pocket - changed jacket on Wednesday and forgot to transfer them! BUT what I noticed overall is that very few people have business cards. There was hardly a need to hand mine out. Why is that?

  1. IATEFL-ers generally don't have / see the need for business cards?

  2. They're too expensive to create and print?

  3. It's not eco-friendly to produce more print material?

  4. People simply forget to hand them out?

  5. Business cards are not en vogue any more....?

Most presenters have cottoned on to the convenience of a QR code at the end of their presentations - we do that too. So much easier to snap a code than write down an email address. Does that make a business card redundant?

I'm old-school, I guess, from a generation of people for whom it was the norm, particularly working in businesses, to represent yourself / your job on a little rectangular piece of card. And I like designing them too - I wasted - no, invested, many hours playing with Canva.

But perhaps it's time to let go of that little bit of paraphernalia? It doesn't add much weight to my conference "luggage" but it is one thing to have to think about (I was so annoyed when I realised they weren't in my pocked on Wednesday!) What about you, dear reader? Do you have a stack of business cards that you keep at the ready when you're out and about? Is it something, as a business English trainer, that you feel is an essential part of your professional persona, something to demonstrate to potential clients that you mean business? Or is it time to relegate the business card to the dustbin of old-fashioned, unnecessary items?

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